Watching Tiger Woods this weekend at the 2012 Masters I am reminded how fragile and fleeting fame and admiration can be. There was a day not too long ago when Mr. Woods commanded every golf course he set foot on, especially Augusta National in the springtime. So much so that he became the catalyst for revered tracks on the tour to change their entire design and length so as to make it more than a pitch and putt for his brand of play. But then December 2009 happened and few things in the world of golf have been the same since.
What has made Tiger’s problems most problematic is the squeaky clean persona crafted by his handlers and sponsors which elevated him to a status mere mortals like you and I could never achieve. Unfortunately it turned out that this role model for millions of kids just happened to be human and is subject to all the failings common to the common man.. Now Tiger has to deal with being another celebrity poster child for humiliation, contrition, forgiveness, and redemption. This may not be a bad thing because there are a lot of big boys and girls in our society that could use an example of success in this area.
Everything you saw of Tiger, except for what he was able to do with a golf ball, has been a mirage. That hidden dark side has been fueled by his own bullet proof ego that gets it’s energy from us, the adoring public. Facilitating that ego has been an inner circle of associates that has had neither the stones or the wherewithal to keep it in check. And so goes Tiger Woods, Michael Vick, Eliot Spitzer, Bernie Madoff, Mark Sanford, and >insert any number of business executives, athlete, politician, and actors name here<. It’s not the sex, or the money; or the power; it’s the ego.